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When Crowdsourcing Goes Wrong
© Image: Anton Root / Crowdsourcing.org
editorial

When Crowdsourcing Goes Wrong

Crowdsourcing works because of the connections among individuals created by the internet. When a project or idea catches the eyes of well-connected individuals or highly trafficked communities, it can spread quickly through the crowd — but sometimes, the crowd doesn’t perform as expected.

That’s precisely what happened with Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen’s ‘Dub The Dew’ campaign, which asked the crowd to name a green apple-flavored Mountain Dew drink.

Along with attracting some of the Villa Pizza’s fans, the campaign also spread through the popular sites Reddit and 4chan. Online pranksters began to submit their own, rather unsavory suggestions, which quickly rose to the top of the submission leaderboard. Among some of the most popular proposed names: “Diabeetus,” “Fapulous Apple,” and “Gushing Granny.” Probably not what the pizza place had in mind.

Villa Pizza promptly pulled the campaign, took down the website, and posted this message on its Facebook page:

In the meantime, a Mountain Dew representative tweeted that Dub the Dew “definitely lost to The Internet,” explaining that the campaign was not started by the soft drink company itself. Mountain Dew has turned to crowdsourcing in the past, letting fans vote for the favorite of several proposed flavors.

This, of course, isn’t the first time a crowdsourcing campaign backfired. We highlighted several previous failed efforts here.

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